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Against the Tide charts course toward prevention

by | May 30, 2023 | Featured

The annual Against the Tide fundraiser to benefit the Massachusetts Breast Cancer Coalition will take place Saturday, June 17, at Hopkinton State Park as well as Saturday, Aug. 12, at Nickerson State Park in Brewster. Virtual events will be held from June 17 through Aug. 12.

Now in its 31st year, Against the Tide is a family-friendly, multi-sport event that “not only raises funds, it raises spirits,” said Cheryl Osimo, breast cancer survivor and MBCC executive director. “Everyone knows they are helping in the battle to eradicate breast cancer.”

Activities can be enjoyed by adults and children of all ages and abilities and include 1-mile recreational and competitive swims, a U.S. Masters Swimming-sanctioned 1-mile swim, a half-mile recreational swim, 5K and 10K runs, and a 3-mile fitness walk. Prizes will be awarded, and all participants will receive a commemorative T-shirt.

WCVB Channel 5 is a media partner and invites viewers and participants to post photos of the event to wcvb.com/upload.

MBCC was founded in 1991 with a mission to prevent environmental causes of breast cancer through community education, research advocacy and changes to public policy. It is now the state’s leading breast cancer organization. Its website (mbcc.org) provides statistics, information on contacting legislators, and community education materials and prevention information.

Funds raised through Against the Tide will help support and amplify MBCC’s community education program, Let’s Talk Prevention: Reducing Toxic Exposures, and the newly expanded youth environmental health program, Let’s Talk Prevention: Actions You Can Take.

Let’s Talk Prevention aims to “increase discussions about environmental exposures,” Osimo explained. Available free in 11 languages on the MBCC website, Reducing Toxic Exposures provides research-based tips as well as a list of chemicals of concern. Actions You Can Take student modules, also free on the website, are available for teachers to download, with versions for elementary, middle and high school levels.

Funds also will support the free MBCC Webinar Series in which world-renowned scientists provide updates on a range of important topics on cancer and prevention, such as wireless radiation and cancer risk, environmental justice and women’s health, PFAS in food packaging, and breast cancer–related chemicals in consumer products.

There are steps people can take to reduce their risk of breast cancer, such as avoiding products known to contain toxic chemicals; consuming fresh foods (to avoid food packaging); using cast iron, stainless steel, glass or enamel cookware; getting an activated carbon or reverse osmosis filtration system for drinking water; and using nylon or silk dental floss that is uncoated or coated in natural wax.

However, it would not be adequate to specify any single action people can take, Osimo noted, adding, “The hard truth is that there are many consumer products and everyday items that could potentially be linked to toxic exposure.”

Against the Tide, as implied by its name, seeks to change the direction from responding to environmental consequences and shift the effort toward preventing the disease.

“The work that we are doing at MBCC is important to change the legacy of breast cancer for our children, grandchildren and future generations,” said Osimo. “This is our job, not theirs.”

To learn more about registration options, join or start a team, or donate, visit mbcc.org/swim or call 508-246-3047.

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